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Reports Seventh Consecutive Quarter of Record ProductionAuRico Gold Inc. (TSX: AUQ) (NYSE: AUQ), ("AuRico" or the "Company") today announces preliminary first quarter production results. All amounts are in U.S. dollars unless otherwise indicated.
(Results for the first quarter 2014 are estimates only and are subject to change.)
AuRico is reporting its seventh consecutive quarter of record production, representing a 10% increase over the prior quarter and a 17% increase over the first quarter of 2013. The solid quarter-over-quarter production growth was driven by increased production from both our cornerstone
Davidson mine and the El Chanate mine. Period-over-period production growth is expected to continue going forward, underpinned by the ongoing ramp-up in production at the
Davidson mine located in northern
Record Quarter-Over-Quarter Production GrowthPreliminary 2014 First Quarter Operational Results
Q1/13 Q2/13 Q3/13 Q4/13 Q1/14
Gold Ounces Produced 28,281 29,252 30,099 33,106 35,095
Tonnes mined per day 1,130 1,611 1,417 2,590 2,600
Grades (g/t) 2.7 2.5 2.8 3.1 2.9
Development metres 1,941 2,445 2,620 2,986 3,400
Mill processing facility
Tonnes processed per day 6,466 7,017 6,747 6,969 7,150
Grades (incl. open pit) 1.8 1.7 1.7 2.0 1.8
Gold Ounces Produced 17,889 18,751 18,804 16,420 19,110
Open Pit tonnes mined per day 106,319 98,928 87,336 98,487 95,800
Gold Ounces Produced 46,170 48,003 48,903 49,526 54,205
.Data provided for the first quarter 2014 are estimates only and subject to
.Includes pre-production gold ounces from the Young-Davidson underground
mine prior to the declaration of commercial production in the underground mine
on October 31, 2013.
"We are pleased with the progression of the ramp-up at the
Davidson mine, which has underpinned a seventh consecutive quarter of record, company-wide production," stated
Scott Perry, President and CEO of AuRico. He continued, "The increase in underground mining rates to 4,000 tonnes per day by the end of 2014 and to an ultimate target of 8,000 tonnes per day in 2016 will continue to drive higher production at lower unit costs."
During the quarter, the underground mine averaged approximately 2,600 tonnes per day at grades in-line with reserve grade estimates. Underground productivity is expected to increase steadily throughout the remainder of the year to reach a productivity target of 4,000 tonnes per day by the end of the year and an ultimate productivity level of 8,000 tonnes per day at the end of 2016.
The shaft & hoisting infrastructure was commissioned in October 2013 and will facilitate significant increases in underground productivities and corresponding cost efficiency improvements as the underground mine continues to ramp up to its ultimate productivity levels.
For the first full quarter of commercial production, underground unit mining costs are in-line with expectations at approximately $45 per tonne, including costs associated with the recently commissioned paste backfill operation. Unit mining costs are expected to decrease steadily throughout the year, corresponding with planned quarter-over-quarter increases in underground productivity. Underground cash costs per ounce in the quarter are expected to be in-line with guidance levels.
During the quarter underground development advance exceeded planned levels with approximately 3,400 metres completed, an average of 38 metres per day. The Company continues to advance underground development to position the mine for sustainable, period-over-period, productivity increases in 2014 and beyond.
The mill facility continues to operate at, or above, planned levels and averaged approximately 7,150 tonnes per day during the first quarter. Mill productivity increased in March to average approximately 8,200 tonnes per day following the receipt of an amended permit that increased the daily processing limit to 10,000 tonnes per calendar day. While the mill facility is expected to average between 7,000 and 7,500 tonnes per day in 2014, this increase in throughput will provide considerable flexibility as the underground mine continues ramping up to its target of 8,000 tonnes per day at the end of 2016.
El Chanate Update
The El Chanate open pit mined an average of approximately 95,800 tonnes per day during the quarter in-line with planned levels.
Crushing and stacking rates remained in-line with targeted levels.
Cash costs for the quarter are expected to be at the lower end of guidance.
Upcoming News Flow
The Company expects to issue the following updates during the first half of 2014:
Q1 2014 Financial Results ( May 8)
Annual General Meeting ( May 9)
Company-Wide Exploration Update (late-May)
Annual General Meeting
AuRico Gold's 2014 Annual General and Special Meeting for shareholders will be held on
Friday, May 9, 2014 at
10:00 a.m. Eastern Time, at the TMX Broadcast Centre, 130 King Street West,
About AuRico Gold
AuRico Gold is a leading Canadian gold producer with mines and projects in
North America that have solid production growth and exploration potential. The Company is focused on its core operations including the
Davidson gold mine in northern
Ontario and the El Chanate mine in Sonora State,
Mexico. AuRico's project pipeline also includes advanced development opportunities in
Mexico. AuRico's head office is located in
Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
This press release contains forward-looking statements and forward-looking information as defined under Canadian and U.S. securities laws. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, are forward-looking statements. The words "expect", "believe", "anticipate", "will", "intend", "estimate", "forecast", "budget" and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include information as to strategy, plans or future financial or operating performance, such as the Company's expansion plans, project timelines, production plans, projected cash flows or capital expenditures, cost estimates, projected exploration results, reserve and resource estimates and other statements that express management's expectations or estimates of future performance.